Medina gears up for big welcome of 650 cyclists on July 9

Photo by Tom Rivers: The Canal Culvert outside Medina in Ridgeway impressed many of the cyclists on July 11, 2022. They stopped to get selfies with the big stone structure, which is the only spot where vehicles can drive under the Erie Canal.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 1 July 2023 at 8:18 am

MEDINA – A 25-year tradition will continue when 650 cyclists arrive in Medina July 9 during the Cycle the Erie Canal event.

Cyclists from all over the United States will start in Buffalo on July 9 and arrive in Medina early afternoon, said Jim Hancock, chair of Medina Tourism, which is planning welcoming events. The cyclists set up at Medina Central School, in what has come to be known as “Tent City.” They depart the next morning and head to Fairport. They will be welcomed at rest stops in Albion and Holley.

In Medina, Hancock and Dawn Borchet, head of Orleans County Tourism, will mark the route for the cyclists from the canal to the school and back. Boy Scout Troop 35 will help unload the trucks carrying the cyclists’ gear.

The event is coordinated locally by the village’s Tourism Committee, Medina Central School District and the state’s Parks and Recreation Department. The Village Tourism Committee members will man an informational booth to answer questions and offer assistance. Local businesses, such as Della’s Chocolates and Case-Nic Cookies, will be on site to offer their goodies.

Massage therapist Mike Webster will be on hand to provide relief to weary cyclists.

“While the cyclists are in Medina, the village’s Tourism Committee provides a variety of activities to showcase our beautiful village,” Hancock said.

This includes a shuttle bus to transport cyclists downtown and around to different highpoints and the downtown business district. This includes the Medina Sandstone Hall of Fame, the Visitor’s Center, Medina Historical Society, Canal Basin and State Street Park for the Who Dats concert. An employee from Author’s Note will be on hand to make books available at the school, and will have their store open on Main Street from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Also new this year, North Star Cruises will have cruises on the canal from noon to 8 p.m. Cruises are one hour long and will begin on the hour. Cost is $25 per person. Anyone can call (716) 514-9378 to make a reservation.

A concert in the park will take place at the pavilion in State Street Park, featuring “The Who Dats” from 4 to 6 p.m. The general public is also invited to attend.

Zambistro’s catering will provide dinner and a send-off breakfast to all cyclists.

At 7 p.m. music will be provided on campus for the cyclists by Dave Stockton’s “Loose Change.”

This event is made successful year after year due to efforts by the Medina Central School District and Medina Tourism Committee, Hancock said.

Cyclists participating in Cycle the Canal will arrive in Buffalo on July 8, where they will be treated to a ride downtown and Niagara Falls, wine tasting, music and a speech by Craig Williams on “Erie Canal History.” The trip ends in Albany on July 16.